Pirates’ late rally comes up short against Gordo

Winfield’s Declan Morgan (#17) rushes as a slew of Gordo defenders try to chase him down. Also pictured is Winfield’s Miles Miles (#59).

WINFIELD — The Winfield Pirates’ late rally came up short as the Pirates fell to the Gordo Greenwave in a Class 3A, Region 5 game, 25-18 on Friday, Sept. 8, at Estes Hudson Stadium in Winfield.
Trailing 18-3 to begin the fourth quarter, the Pirates were able to score a touchdown and got a 2 point conversion to cut lead to 18-11 and scored one more time late, but it was not enough to overcome the deficit.
The loss dropped the Pirates’ record to 2-1 on the season and 0-1 in Class 3A, Region 5. The loss is also the first regular season home loss for Winfield since 2019, also against Gordo, snapping an 18 game home winning streak.
Gordo got on the board first in the first quarter as Ethan Wilder took a handoff and ran in for a touchdown to cap an 8 play 51-yard drive. The 2 point conversion run was no good, but Gordo led 6-0.
Gordo tacked on a second score as Jase Neel passed to Brett Criswell for a 13-yard touchdown. Wilder’s run for the 2 point conversion came up short, but the Greenwave lead grew to 12-0.
Gordo added to its first half total as Neel took the quarterback keeper around right end and into the end zone to cap a 7 play 45-yard drive to extend the Greenwave lead to 18-0 with 5:46 left in the first half.
Winfield got on the scoreboard with 1.7 seconds left in the first half as Jacob Barnes booted a 25-yard field goal to make it 18-3 going into halftime.
Neither team could reach the end zone in the third quarter, but the Pirates got its offense rolling late in the third and into the start of the fourth quarter.
Winfield used a methodical approach starting at their own 40-yard line. Keylan Hughes got things going with a 7 yard run on first down, and then quarterback Brady May passed to Luke Spillers for a 15-yard gain and a first down. Hughes went back to work picking up 11 yards and followed that with a 1 yard gain.
May passed to Sean Wyers for 3 yards and after losing 5 yards on a sack, May found D’Angelo Bankhead for a 25 yard pass and catch down to the Greenwave 10-yard line.
Declan Morgan took the handoff from May and picked up 4 yards, and then May took the keeper for 3 more down to the Gordo 3-yard line.
Morgan moved the Pirates closer with a 1-yard gain and then Hughes finished the drive with a 2 yard touchdown carry.
Morgan carried in the two-point conversion to cut the Greenwave lead to 18-11.
Gordo answered the Pirates’ score with one of their own, needing 8 plays to cover 92 yards. Neel finished the drive off with a 2-yard touchdown run.
Jordy Gomez added the extra point to push the Greenwave lead to 25-11 with 5:25 left in the game.
Winfield’s offense stalled on the next drive and turned the ball over on downs, but the defense rose to the occasion and forced the Greenwave to punt, and the Pirates took over at its own 39-yard line with only 47 seconds left in the game.
On first down, May passed to Wyers who broke a tackle and raced down the sideline to the Gordo 13-yard line for a 48-yard gain. May then threw up a pass toward the back of the end zone that was tipped, but Preston Nelson was in the right place at the right time and caught the tipped pass for a touchdown.
Barnes' extra point was good and Winfield cut the lead to 25-18 with only 28 seconds left in the game.
Barnes’ onside kick was recovered by Gordo, and the Greenwave took a knee to close out the game.
Winfield finished the game with 291 total yards, with 148 passing and 143 rushing.
May completed 17-of-24 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown.
Morgan led the rushing attack with 78 yards on 9 carries. Hughes ran 17 times for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Wyers led the receivers with 6 catches for 83 yards. Bankhead had 4 receptions for 50 yards and Nelson had 5 catches for 27 yards and a touchdown. Spillers caught 1 pass for 15 yards.
“We have got to learn to start playing in the first half,” said Winfield Head Coach David McKinney. “We were a little uptight, but we are young, and that’s no excuse.”
“Gordo played a good game, and we made a lot of mental mistakes and need to get back to work on us.”
Winfield (2-1, 0-1 Class 3A, Region 5) will be off this week, but will return to action on Thursday, Sept. 21 in another region game at Midfield (0-2, 0-1 Class 3A, Region 5).

See complete story in the Journal Record.
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